Semiconductor & Solar cell industry

Semiconductor & Solar cell industry

What is semiconductor & solar cell industry?

Semiconductor crystal grid defects cause low-level photon emission. Low-level photon emission takes place exactly in the most sensitive realm of SWIR cameras fitted with Thermo-Electrically cooled InGaAs or HgCdTe area sensors.

Such sensors are therefore well suited for failure analysis and quality assurance tasks in semiconductor manufacturing. The positive results of these procedures are successfully migrated to the economical characterization of nano-technology devices.

How are SWIR imagers used in the semiconductor & solar cell industry?

SWIR imagers were initially used in the telecommunications industry as they are sensitive to the 1550 nm light typically used in optical fibres. Nowadays, SWIR imaging is used in a wide variety of applications in semiconductor and solar cell industry:

  • Emission microscopy: Photon emission microscopy, or electroluminescence imaging, is a relatively new failure analysis technique for detecting photonic radiation from a defect site, primarily due to carrier recombination mechanisms. 
  • Failure analysis: Targeted failure analysis as applied in microelectronics is usually carried out in a five-step sequence: First is fault validation, followed by localizing the defect. Then the defect location is prepared and traced for analysis; the nature of the defect is determined and, finally, an investigation of its root causes is initiated.
  • Solar cell inspection: SWIR imaging enables you to look “through” the silicon wafer and therefore allows inspection of defects and failures of solar cells, which cannot be detected and visualized by other methods.

What do we offer?

We offer the Bobcat-series for these applications. 

Our Bobcat-320Bobcat-640-CL & Bobcat-640-GigE are very small and lightweight SWIR InGaAs cameras. They consume very little power and are cheaper than other cooled SWIR cameras. Therefore, customers continuously find new applications for system integration where cost, size and power are critical. The Bobcat answer to the need of flexibility in terms of data and control interfaces with its GigE or CameraLink interface.

What features are needed?

  • High image resolution
    The amount of pixels has a huge impact on the image. The higher the resolution, the more detail your image
  • High frame rate
    High frame rates allow us to capture fast moving objects
  • Small pixel size
    A smaller pixel size results in smaller detectors - resulting in lower sensor production costs, smaller optics and eventually smaller cameras
  • Low noise level and high dynamic range
    A low noise level assures a high sensitivity, while a high dynamic range results in a high image contrast
  • Sensor temperature stabilization or cooling
    A cooled SWIR camera has a lower dark current, reaches lower noise levels and has a higher dynamic range. Several SWIR cameras in our product range are TE1-stabilized, TE1-cooled, TE3-cooled, TE4-cooled or even LN2-cooled
  • Easy connectivity
    We offer several different interfaces for an easy integration into your system

Are you looking for more information? 

Let us know. We are happy to help.

Contact us


Application notes
SWIR cameras for timely defect detection ensure higher yields in solar cell production. SWIR cameras for timely defect detection ensure higher yields.
XCO-640 enable thermal lock-in inspection applications This article demonstrates the value and effectiveness of using thermal lock-in when conducting semiconductor inspections. The overall efficiency of a wafer level inspection process is improved thanks to thermal lock-in enabled by the Xenics XCO-640 camera module.
Press Releases
Xenics at Vision 2012: Cougar-640 SWIR camera is LN2-cooled for lowest noise and dark current We demonstrate the Cougar-640 LN2-cooled SWIR camera at Vision 2012. This camera is perfectly suited for extreme low-light-level applications (2012)
Bobcat-640: smallest GigE Vision/CameraLink SWIR camera with low noise We demonstrate our Bobcat-640-GigE/CL at Vision 2012. The Bobcat-640 is the smallest GigE Vision/CameraLink SWIR camera with low noise (2012)
Bobcat-640: smallest SWIR low noise CL/GigE camera now in production We released our Bobcat-640-GigE and Bobcat-640-CL SWIR cameras to full-qualification production (2014)
Short-wave infrared cameras in semiconductor inspection applications The semiconductor industry has grown to become one of the largest industries in the world. Semiconductor industry covers a wide variety of applications, ranging from processor and memory integrated circuits for PCs or mobile devices, to solar cells. We look at several uses of SWIR (short-wave infrared) cameras in semiconductor inspection applications.

New Xeneth LabVIEW SDK

LabVIEW toolkit for Xenics cameras offers high-level examples as well as low-level VIs, making it easy for programmers to integrate Xenics cameras into their software applications written in LabVIEW

Jan Šíma, Business Development Manager, ELCOM, a.s.